Discover the different types of pineapple that have been present in many of the world's cuisines from savory dishes to pizza toppings and from ice granita to pina colada.
The pineapple is a tropical fruit that originated from the area between southern Brazil and Paraguay. Today, many of the world’s leading exporters of this fruit come from Southeast Asia. As of 2016, the top five leading countries are Costa Rica, Brazil, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
The fruit is a herbaceous perennial that has over a hundred varieties that vary in size and takes almost three years to mature. It can produce fruits three times in its lifetime. It also produces flowers that vary in colors from lavender to purple to red.
Pineapple Nutrition Facts Chart
Now let’s jump into your pineapple options.
Abacaxi pineapples are very sweet, and if you grow them you’ll love the fact that they are resistant to disease. They weigh from two to 11 pounds and are considered some of the tastiest types of pineapples, although they are a little too soft to use for commercial purposes. Abacaxi pineapples are spiny and tall, and they have juicy flesh that is white and nearly translucent in color.
The reason that they are rarely used commercially is that they do not ship well, due to the fact that they are extremely fragile. There are also different types of Abacaxi pineapples, including the Montufar, which is very yellow in color and extremely juicy, and the Sugarloaf variety, which is round or conical in shape and has a tender but rich flesh. In fact, Black Jamaica is actually derived from the Sugarloaf pineapple, so the Abacaxi pineapples come in several different varieties.
Queen pineapples are grown mostly in Australia and South Africa. Also called Queen or Common Rough pineapples, they are a smaller variety that is more tolerant of diseases and cold temperatures than other types of pineapple.
The fruit is dark-yellow and fragrant, and it has a very small core. Queen pineapples aren’t used as canned pineapples because they do not can well, and therefore people simply eat them fresh. They also consist of several varieties, including the Natal Queen, which comes from South Africa, and the MacGregor, which has flesh that is firm and has a robust, spreading plant.
Red Spanish Pineapples
At a weight of between three and six pounds, Red Spanish pineapples are usually orange-red in color and are the main type of pineapples found in the Caribbean. It is a tough variety with fruit that is a light-yellow color, very aromatic, and high in fiber. With fruit that isn’t as tender as other varieties, the Red Spanish pineapples ship well and are therefore transported nearly all over the world.
There is also a variety called the Cabezona, whose stem is so large that the fruit has to be cut off with a machete, as well as the Valera, which is a small variety with narrow leaves, purple or green highlights, and fruit that is purple in color and has white flesh.
Smooth Cayenne Pineapples
Smooth Cayenne pineapples are the main type of pineapple grown in Hawaii, which means that when you buy your pineapples in the supermarket, this is most likely the kind you’re buying. It is also the biggest pineapple, weighing from four to ten pounds. Smooth Cayenne pineapples have an orange rind and yellow flesh, and they are very juicy and slightly on the acidic side.
With low-fiber flesh and striped leaves, Smooth Cayenne pineapples account for roughly 90% of the canned fruit in the world. There are also different varieties of the Smooth Cayenne pineapple, including the Hilo, a compact variety from Hawaii developed around 1960, the Giant Kew, which is popular in India and can weigh up to 22 pounds, and the St. Michael, which is very sweet, highly acidic, and tart in flavor.
Miscellaneous Varieties of Pineapples
Baron de Rothschild Pineapples
This is a small to medium fruit that is oblong in shape, with a yellow color on the outside and a paler color on the inside.
These pineapples are small and have medium-sized leaves and an olive color. The fruit is more yellow in color and shaped cylindrically, and the plant is completely spike-free.
This pineapple is thought to be a mixture of two other varieties; it has pale-green leaves, dark-yellow insides, and an external color that is red to purple in color.
Cayena Lisa Pineapples
A medium-sized plant with long, wide leaves, this pineapple’s fruit is cylindrical in shape and has a reddish-orange outside with a pale-yellow inside, and there are a few spikes on the tips of the leaves.
These pineapples are very large and have fruit that is reddish-orange on the outside and yellow on the inside. Its leaves are dark-green in color with reddish spots.
James Queen Pineapples
This is a vigorous variety of pineapples and is very round in shape. They have a golden-yellow outside, a deep-yellow inside, and long leaves that are pale green in color and have a lot of very strong spikes.
Maipure pineapples are cylindrical in shape with fruit that has a very yellow color, even though they are somewhat lighter in color on the inside. They contain some spikes on the leaf tips, and their dark-green leaves have red spots on them.
These pineapples are free from spikes with a gold-yellow inside and orange exterior, as well as a spike-free leaf that is dark-green in color.
These pineapples are very small and compact, have dark-green and narrow leaves, a conical shape, and a bright yellow interior and exterior. They also have very prominent eyes.
Monte Lirio Pineapples
This pineapple has an intense green color with fruit that is yellow on the outside and white on the inside; its leaves are sparse, and the plant is very small.
These are average size plants with short or medium leaves that are yellowish-green or green in color; the fruit is yellowish-green on the outside and yellow color on the inside.
These are very vigorous plants that have a lot of spikes along the borders. The oblong-shaped fruit is yellow both inside and out, and there are rounded eyes in the upper part of the plant and deep in the base.
These pineapple plants have reddish spots on them and smooth edges; the fruit is block-shaped and yellow in color.
PR 1-67 Pineapples
These plants are curved upwards and have reddish-tinged leaves. With fruit that is barrel-shaped, the fruit itself is yellowish-orange in color and has white pulp.
Roja Espanola Pineapples
This fruit is barrel-shaped and yellow-orange in color; they actually consist of small individual fruits that gather and make multiple fruits that we call a pineapple. This type of pineapple has a taste that is very sweet and pleasant, and each of the individual fruits has covers, or eyes, with tiny leaves.
With leaves that are reddish-green in color and brown spots, the Ripley pineapple has round-oval fruit that is dark-green in color, but pale-copper when it ripens fully. It has a very small amount of fiber and fruit that is very succulent and sweet.
This elongated fruit is yellow-orange in color and a white interior; it has flat eyes that are slightly deep, and the plant is dark-green in color with red spots. It is also free of spikes.
Singapore Spanish Pineapples
These pineapples are cylindrical in shape and have pale-orange exteriors and yellow interiors. The plants themselves are medium in size, and they have long, narrow leaves that are dark-green in color.
Spanish Jewel Pineapples
With long leaves that are dark-green in color and reddish spots, this type of pineapple has a cylindrical shape and white fruit, with an inside that is orange in color.
With crushed pineapple, you essentially get many tiny pieces of pineapple because it has been crushed by some type of kitchen appliance or machine. Crushed pineapple is perfect for topping desserts and other dishes, especially items such as pineapple upside-down cake.
If you’re looking for any type of frozen pineapple, chances are good that it is the chunk variety you need. The chunks are bigger than the crushed variety, and the pieces are larger and more defined. If you want a type of pineapple for your shish-kabobs, pineapple chunks are perfect because they are large enough and firm enough to fit onto the skewers without making them too mushy.
This is a very common way for people to purchase pineapple. If you’re working with fresh pineapple, slicing it is usually the easiest way to work with it. Of course, you can easily find canned pineapple that has been sliced, and since the slices are always perfectly cut, this is also a very attractive way to present pineapple on your food item. It is also a common item found on vegetarian or vegan burgers.
There is one main difference between sliced pineapples and speared pineapples – the sliced pineapple is cut widthwise, while the speared pineapple is a result of cutting the pineapple lengthwise. Picture a pickle spear, but replace the pickle piece for a piece of pineapple, and you’ll understand what the main difference is.
Pineapple tidbits are very similar to pineapple chunks. Tidbits are usually a slight tad smaller in size than pineapple chunks, but other than that, there is very little difference between the two. In fact, the two can usually be used interchangeably in recipes, so if you need pineapple chunks for a recipe, you can easily substitute pineapple tidbits and get the same result.